Basketball: Lin rains 38 points on the Lakers

Jeremy Lin passed his biggest test since bursting onto the NBA scene last weekend, scoring a career-high 38 points to lead the Knicks to victory over Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers.

Lin, the first American of Taiwanese and Chinese heritage to play in the NBA, rewarded the faith of his fans, making 13-of-23 shots from the floor and passing out seven assists in the Knicks' 92-85 victory over the Lakers.

With the sell-out crowd at Madison Square Garden cheering his every move, Lin lifted the Knicks to their fourth straight victory - the fourth straight game in which he has scored 23 points or more.

He has been a revelation for the Knicks, who picked him up after he was cut by first Golden State and then Houston in December.

Since scoring 25 points off the bench to help the Knicks beat New Jersey last Saturday, Lin has gone from strength to strength.

He delivered 28 points in a win over Utah and 23 in a win at Washington in his first two NBA starts.

"This has been a wild week for me," said Lin, who remains amazed by the sight of fans in their new number 17 Lin shirts, waving signs supporting him.

"You don't see many guys play like that even in their 30th opportunity - or their whole career," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said.

"What he's doing is amazing. He answered a lot of questions tonight."

Bryant led the Lakers with 34 points and 10 rebounds. Pau Gasol added 16 points and 10 rebounds, but for fans at the Garden it was all about Lin.

He delighted them with a spin around Derek Fisher en route to a first-half lay-up.

A Lin jump-shot gave New York a 10-point lead later in the fourth, and on the next possession he drained a three-pointer that gave the Knicks an 84-71 lead and sent the crowd wild.

"The level this kid is playing at, I've never seen anything like it," said Knicks team-mate Jared Jefferies.

In other action on Friday, Los Angeles' Chris Paul hit a 17-foot jumper with 3.2 seconds left to lift the Clippers to a 78-77 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in a clash of divisional leaders.

Orlando's poor form against Atlanta has continued, with the Hawks posting a fourth straight regular-season meeting victory over the Magic after a 89-87 overtime win.

Elsewhere, Russell Westbrook's 28 points led Oklahoma City to a 101-87 win over Utah, Memphis defeated Indiana 98-92, Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 33 points as Dallas downed Minnesota 104-97, Chicago hammered Charlotte 95-64, Miami beat Washington 106-89, the Celtics were beaten 86-74 by Toronto, Milwaukee edged Cleveland 113-112 in overtime, Portland were victorious 94-86 at New Orleans and Detroit were too strong for New Jersey with a 109-92 win.

- AFP

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